|Born:||September 13, 1937|
|Birthplace:||New York City, New York, U.S.|
|Network TV executive/ TV/film producer, Screenwriter|
|Series involved with:||The Jeffersons|
Fred Silverman (born September 13, 1937) was the network programming executive who helped bring the idea of The Jeffersons onto the CBS-TV network lineup in 1974-75 season. In addition to The Jeffersons, Fred, as a network TV executive for ABC-TV and CBS-TV was also responsible for brining such other popular TV series to TV such as All In The Family, Laverne & Shirley, M*A*S*H, and Three's Company.
Life and CareerEdit
Fred quickly grew up into the television business. After starting out in the mail-room of ABC-TV in the late 1950s, he rose to director of program development at WGN-TV, Chicago in the early 60s. One day, he abandoned his car during a snowstorm and boarded a plane for New York, where he gained a position as head of Daytime Programming at CBS-TV. In 1970, he became the programming head of CBS, where he programmed such hits as Mary Tyler Moore (1970), All in the Family (1971), M*A*S*H (1972), The Jeffersons (1975), Kojak (1973) and The Sonny and Cher Show (1976).
In 1975, Fred left for ABC-TV, where he worked closely with Michael Eisner and Brandon Tartikoff. He developed such new hits as Laverne & Shirley (1976), The Love Boat (1977), Donny and Marie (1976) and Soap (1977). By the end of the 1977-1978 season, ABC was number one, Daytime and Nigttime. In 1978, he joined NBC as President and CEO. His presence helped stem the audience erosion of the prior 5 years with new programs such as Diff'rent Strokes (1978), Real People (1979) and Hill Street Blues (1981). During his tenure, he made program commitments that led to St. Elsewhere (1982) and Cheers (1982), promoted Brandon Tartikoff to President of Entertainment and laid the groundwork for NBC's turnaround in the 80s. Management changes at parent RCA led to Silverman's departure in June, 1981 and his replacement by Grant Tinker.
He then formed "The Fred Silverman Company" and became an independent producer. Among his successes were "Perry Mason Movies", Matlock (1986), In the Heat of the Night (1988), Jake and the Fatman (1987) and Diagnosis Murder (1993). Silverman remains in the independent production business and also does program consulting.
- Fred Silverman at the Internet Movie Database
- Fred Silverman Archive of American Television Interview
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